Puerto Vallarta

Travel Guide
Puerto Vallarta showing a beach, general coastal views and kayaking or canoeing

Swim, snorkel or just relax on one of the beautiful beaches at Puerto Vallarta, one of the most popular vacation spots in sunny Mexico.

Puerto Vallarta is an oceanfront city on the west coast of Mexico. The area began as a collection of sleepy fishing and pearl-diving villages. Today, the city and surrounding parts of the Bay of Banderas (Bahía de Banderas) are popular with tourists as a resort destination. You will find a range of outdoor family activities here, from water sports to secluded beaches and botanical gardens.

The Bay of Banderas is a 62-mile (100-kilometer) stretch of beach with rocky outcrops, white sand and clear water. Puerto Vallarta is the largest community here, and is home to the elegant Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Snorkel or scuba dive off the coast and see manta rays, sea bass and dolphins.

Las Caletas is a small, private beach accessible only by water. Take the Vallarta Adventures catamaran to go on hikes in the jungle, visit a small zoo and enjoy a fresh seafood lunch. The beach is the former private residence of Hollywood director John Huston.

Take an evening stroll along the Malecon, the pedestrian promenade that lines the Puerto Vallarta coast. The area is a popular meeting place for locals and tourists and is lined with restaurants, street performers and food vendors. Enjoy a cool tejuino, a local drink made with fermented corn, or buy grilled fish by the skewer.

The Puerto Vallarta Botanical Gardens give insight into the local wildlife and vegetation. The gardens include conservation areas dedicated to the blue agave plant, used in tequila production, as well as native vanilla orchids.

Puerto Vallarta is particularly popular between January and March. Gostavo Diaz Ordaz International Airport is a short bus trip from the city center. Get around the city on foot or by local buses, which are cheap and run frequently. Try taco stands for cheap street food, or the cafés and restaurants in the old town for sit-down meals.

For more details on interesting local attractions and activities, check out our things to do in Puerto Vallarta page.

Where to stay in Puerto Vallarta

Hotel Mio Vallarta - Adults Only
Hotel Mio Vallarta - Adults Only
3.5 out of 5
BLVD FRANCISCO MEDINA ASCENCIO 2179, Puerto Vallarta, JAL, 48333
The price is $72 per night from Jun 17 to Jun 18
Stay at this 3.5-star business-friendly hotel in Puerto Vallarta. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and breakfast. Our guests praise the helpful staff and the clean ...
4.4/5 Wonderful! (668 reviews)
"Good"

Reviewed on May 14, 2022

Hotel Mio Vallarta - Adults Only
Crown Paradise Golden Puerto Vallarta All Inclusive
Crown Paradise Golden Puerto Vallarta All Inclusive
4 out of 5
Av. de las Garzas, Puerto Vallarta, JAL, 48333
The price is $199 per night from Jun 7 to Jun 8
Stay at this 4-star beach property in Puerto Vallarta. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and 4 restaurants. Our guests praise the pool and the bar in our reviews. ...
3.8/5 Good! (1,085 reviews)
"Great place to stay. Property needs more staff on weekend to accommodate for the amount of locals that stay."

Reviewed on May 14, 2022

Crown Paradise Golden Puerto Vallarta All Inclusive
Villa del Palmar Beach Resort and Spa, Puerto Vallarta
Villa del Palmar Beach Resort and Spa, Puerto Vallarta
3.5 out of 5
Blvd Francisco Medina Ascencio Km 2.5, Zona Hotelera Norte, Puerto Vallarta, 48333
The price is $107 per night from Jun 1 to Jun 2
Stay at this 3.5-star beach resort in Puerto Vallarta. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and 2 outdoor pools. Our guests praise the pool and the helpful staff in ...
4/5 Very Good! (934 reviews)
"Great service"

Reviewed on May 13, 2022

Villa del Palmar Beach Resort and Spa, Puerto Vallarta
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
San Trópico Petit Hotel & Peaceful Escape
San Trópico Petit Hotel & Peaceful Escape
3.5 out of 5
Flamingos 161, Marina Vallarta, Puerto Vallarta, JAL, 48335
The price is $79 per night from Jun 7 to Jun 8
Stay at this 3.5-star golf aparthotel in Puerto Vallarta. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and breakfast. Our guests praise the breakfast and the helpful staff ...
4.8/5 Exceptional! (152 reviews)
"Everything about our stay was just perfect! The staff, the location, the space. Loved it all! Highly recommend, only thing is you’ll need to catch a lot of Ubers if you want to go into the heart of PV. But, worth it."

Reviewed on May 14, 2022

San Trópico Petit Hotel & Peaceful Escape
Olas Altas Suites
Olas Altas Suites
3.5 out of 5
Rodolfo Gomez 158, Col. Emiliano Zapata, Puerto Vallarta, JAL, 48380
Stay at this 3.5-star business-friendly aparthotel in Puerto Vallarta. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and room service. Our guests praise the WiFi and the quiet ...
4.1/5 Very Good! (233 reviews)
"The hotel was very good. Good location, very helpful staff and very clean"

Reviewed on May 16, 2022

Olas Altas Suites
Pinnacle Resorts 220
Pinnacle Resorts 220
4 out of 5
Pulpito 220, Puerto Vallarta, JAL, 48380
The price is $134 per night from Jun 4 to Jun 5
Stay at this 4-star business-friendly aparthotel in Puerto Vallarta. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and room service. Our guests praise the pool and the helpful ...
4.6/5 Wonderful! (783 reviews)
"We luv Pinnacle 220. Awesome rooftop pool and bar. Great staff."

Reviewed on May 14, 2022

Pinnacle Resorts 220
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Getting around Puerto Vallarta

By far the easiest way to get around the Puerto Vallarta area is by taxi. As fares are relatively low, this is a less indulgent option than in many other destinations. Take a water taxi for something a bit different. Public buses are another alternative, and the network is cheap and easy to use. Although you can rent a car at the airport, this is rarely necessary and can end up being quite expensive. Browse Puerto Vallarta rental cars.

Best time to visit

Different people will prefer Puerto Vallarta at different times of the year. If you are interested in whale watching, be sure to visit between December and March so you can spot these impressive animals. Note that this is high season, so there will be bigger crowds and higher room rates. Enjoy a quieter break by visiting between April and June. This is the off-season, but the weather will still be good.

Popular places to visit in Puerto Vallarta

Top things to do in Puerto Vallarta

Read travel guides and advice on visiting Puerto Vallarta

Cities near Puerto Vallarta